Meet The Muse: Erin Fetherston
Girl-about-town Natalie Joos spends her days casting for shows like ADAM and Yigal Azrouël and editorials for the likes of Mario Sorrenti and Mariano Vivanco, but her passion is vintage clothing. Joos’ blog, Tales of Endearment, spotlights her “Muses,” impeccably styled girls who share her secondhand obsession. In a new partnership with Style.com, Tales of Endearment’s subjects discuss their shoots right here on Style File.
When Erin Fetherston isn’t in something from her namesake collection, she’s almost always wearing vintage. “I love finding a piece that has been made at home, like sweaters that have been hand-knit,” the platinum blonde tells Style.com. “I always want to know the story behind the clothes.” Now, in her latest Tales of Endearment story, Natalie Joos brings us the backstory behind the New York-based designer’s fantastical wardrobe, complete with separate closets for new clothes and vintage. “It’s like a magical cave,” Joos says of Fetherston’s walk-ins. “I imagine Erin in the middle of her princess’ wardrobe waving a wand that springs a new dress on her thin frame every morning. It’s an amusing thought. But not so far-fetched.” Erin spoke to Style.com about playing dress-up and her favorite vintage haunts around the globe.
You always look really feminine. Is that how would you describe your style?
Yes, it’s definitely on the feminine side. I am totally a dress girl. My style is really a reflection of all the different influences I have had over my lifetime. I am from California and I have that California ease. However, I studied in Paris and I have always loved fantasy and had a vivid imagination.
How does vintage play into your look?
I grew up in the Bay Area and there was always an amazing vintage scene in Berkeley and San Francisco. Actually, vintage was more accessible than being able to go see high, directional fashion at the time. I love going to vintage stores because you can see so many different styles and ideas all at once—it has a great variety. If you are only shopping at a current clothing store, it’s dominated by a trend or a season.
What about your designs—how are those influenced by vintage?
At the beginning, I will play extensive dress-up games in my closet to see what I’m feeling. I will pull out new and old and vintage and it is a great tool to help try on ideas for size. To me, there’s something amazing about working in 3-D, rather than just 2-D. When it comes to making my own collection, I like to design from scratch. I’m not interested in making something that looks vintage. I don’t see the point.
Any vintage stores in particular you like to frequent? I hear you like to stop by Shareen Vintage on 17th Street.
Shareen, both in New York and Los Angeles, is truly my favorite. There are a few really good ones on Haight Street in San Francisco. In general, I like going to Haight Street, but it seems more and more picked over these days. Ten years ago it was amazing. In Paris, I would go to the auction house and got lots of haute couture that way. New World Order on Avenue B here in New York—it’s more designer, but they have lots of vintage YSL. I am more of a cheap thrill when it comes to vintage. I love getting something for $40 because it takes the fun out of it when the price tag on a vintage piece is insane.
Do you collect any specific types of vintage pieces?
It’s mostly dresses that I look for. I am always excited when I find an Albert Nipon dress—I have a few. What’s really crazy is I will find a “vintage sister” and you meet the twin to the one you already own. It’s always so mind-blowing. I also love all the long, seventies chiffon hostess dresses I have. You can never wear them anywhere and they are only appropriate for when you are hosting a dinner party at your apartment. For me, I will buy even if I am not going to wear it. If it’s informative or inspirational, I will buy it.
What are your rules for mixing vintage and contemporary pieces?
I am not so into rules. If you are going to buy a vintage dress, it’s worth getting the hem adjusted and that’s an easy, quick fix to make it fresh. If you pair it with modern accessories and a bag, the whole look is elevated.
Finish the thought: What’s old is new again when…
the new generation doesn’t have firsthand memory of it. Does that make sense? When the kids don’t know it came before, then it’s new again.
For more from Erin’s shoot, visit Tales of Endearment.
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- style file covers all the news in style, from high street to high fashion, with dispatches from new york, l.a., london, paris, milan, tokyo, beijing, and more